Be­com­ing a Red

O’Brien com­mits to UNB Var­sity Reds

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS -

Char­lot­te­town soc­cer player Alex O’Brien has com­mit­ted to UNB.

Alex O’Brien is fol­low­ing in his fa­ther’s foot­steps.

The Colonel Gray Colonels grad­u­ate has com­mit­ted to the UNB Var­sity Red soc­cer team for the fall. His fa­ther, John, played at UNB and was a mem­ber of the 1980 team that won the Cana­dian In­teruni­ver­sity Sport (CIS) cham­pi­onship.

“That was the rea­son I was fa­mil­iar with UNB, but he to­tally left it up to me,” O’Brien said Mon­day.

The 17-year-old Char­lot­te­town res­i­dent said the team’s re­cent suc­cess was part of the rea­son for his choice.

“And they (put) a lot of fo­cus on aca­demics as well as ath­let­ics, so that was a big part for my fam­ily and me,” said O’Brien, who will be study­ing com­puter science.

Play­ing univer­sity soc­cer is some­thing he said he thought about as a kid. Not only did his fa­ther play, but his sis­ter Katie played four sea­sons at UPEI, as well.

O’Brien joins a Reds team com­ing off back-to-back At­lantic Univer­sity Sport (AUS) ti­tles.

They went 11-0-2 in last year’s reg­u­lar sea­son and de­feated Cape Bre­ton 2-1 in the con­fer­ence cham­pi­onship game.

O’Brien said he is hop­ing to get as much play­ing time as pos­si­ble in his rookie year.

“Con­sid­er­ing they’re like the No. 1 team in At­lantic Canada that’s pretty ex­cit­ing for me,” he said.

O’Brien has three goals in eight games this sum­mer in his first sea­son with Soc­cer Stop P.E.I. F.C., which plays in the McCain New Brunswick Premier Soc­cer League.

“There are a lot of AUS play­ers that play in that league,” he said. “Play­ing against them is a great ex­pe­ri­ence and it pre­pares me very well for next year.”

O’Brien has played with the Char­lot­te­town Roy­als F.C., P.E.I. and At­lantic teams.

He brings ex­pe­ri­ence as a striker, at­tack­ing cen­tre midfielder and winger.

“Alex has all the tools to be a very good AUS and CIS player,” said UNB head coach Miles Pin­sent. “He is fast, hard, skilled and cre­ative.”

O’Brien’s ca­reer high­lights in­clude trav­el­ling to Scot­land in 2014 for train­ing and games, in­clud­ing a match against the St. Mir­ren pro youth academy team, and rep­re­sent­ing P.E.I. at club na­tion­als in 2011, 2013 and 2014.

He was one of three fi­nal­ists for the P.E.I. Soc­cer As­so­ci­a­tion’s ju­nior player of the year award from 2011 to 2014.

“Alex has all the tools to be a very good AUS and CIS player. He is fast, hard, skilled and cre­ative.”

UNB head coach Miles Pin­sent

FILE PHOTO

Alex O’Brien, right, has com­mit­ted to the UNB Var­sity Reds. “I’m most look­ing for­ward to play­ing with com­pet­i­tive, high-per­for­mance ath­letes and learn­ing from the ex­pe­ri­ence of both team­mates and coach­ing staff,” he said.

O’Brien

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